The Diabetic’s Guide to Steel Toe Diabetic Shoes and Work Boots

In this article, we will discuss the different types of steel-toed diabetic work boots and how to choose the right…(continue reading)

If you are diabetic and work certain jobs, steel-toed work boots may be the right choice for you.

Diabetes can cause several foot issues, so it is important to find diabetic shoes that will protect your feet and steel-toed diabetic work boots offer many advantages over other types of shoes.

In this article, we will discuss the different types of steel-toed diabetic work boots and how to choose the right pair for you.

We will also provide a list of the five best steel-toed diabetic work boots for men and give you tips on the best ways to take care of them.

How does diabetes affect your feet?

One of the most common complications of having diabetes is that it can cause numerous problems for your feet.

The most common issues are nerve damage and poor circulation.

Diabetic nerve damage, called diabetic neuropathy or diabetic peripheral neuropathy, can create numbness so you lose sensation in your feet, which can lead to cuts and scrapes going unnoticed.

If these wounds are unnoticed and not cared for properly, it can lead to infection and possibly even amputation.

Another condition that is common with diabetes is called peripheral artery disease and it can cause poor blood flow in your extremities which means that wounds heal more slowly and are more susceptible to infection.

Both of these problems can be made worse by wearing ill-fitting or poor-quality shoes which is why it is so important if you are diabetic, especially those who work in difficult or dangerous environments, to wear steel-toed diabetic work boots.

Diabetic Neuropathy Infographic
Diabetic Neuropathy Infographic

What are the advantages of having steel-toed diabetic work boots?

Steel-toed diabetic work boots offer superior protection to your feet by giving you both the support and cushioning that you need to avoid injury as well as the steel toe that will protect your toes in the event of something heavy falling on them.

They also usually have reinforced soles to provide even more protection and stability which helps if you suffer from diabetic neuropathy and are more prone to falls or are not aware when your feet become injured.

It is especially important to have steel-toed work boots if you work in an environment where you are constantly on your feet or where there is a risk of heavy objects falling on them.

Do I need to wear diabetic work boots?

If you are diabetic and work in an environment where there is a risk of injury to your feet, then yes, you need to consider wearing steel-toed diabetic work boots or steel-toed footwear as they will offer you the best protection possible and help to prevent any further complications with your diabetes.

What do I need to look for when buying diabetic work boots?

There are a few different things to consider when choosing the best steel-toed diabetic work boots for men and they include:

Type of closure system

How the boots close is important as you need to be able to get the boots on and off easily as well as adjust them to get a snug fit.


For the material, you want something durable and breathable so your feet do not get too sweaty.


You need a thick sole for extra protection and stability and an insole with proper cushioning for comfort and to mitigate the impact of being on your feet.

Toe box

The toe box on your boots needs to be roomy enough for your toes to move around and not feel constricted which will also help prevent foot and toe deformities, improve blood circulation, and avoid blisters due to friction in ill-fitting shoes.

Arch support

Arch support is important if you have diabetes as it helps to improve circulation and prevents the deterioration of joints.

What are the five best steel-toed diabetic work boots for men?

Some of the best steel-toed diabetic work boots for men include:

Timberland PRO Direct Attach 6″ Steel Toe Insulated Waterproof Work Boot

These steel-toed work boots from Timberland have quite a few different features that make them ideal for diabetics.

First, they are waterproof, have an antimicrobial liner, and are insulated to keep your feet dry, odor free, and comfortable in hazardous conditions.

Their heat-resistant, durable rubber outsole also provides stability and slip resistance to help you avoid falls.

The molded foam insole also has anti-fatigue technology that absorbs shock to give you a spring in your step.

To top it all off, they use their REBOTL material in these boots that use 50% recycled plastic making them more environmentally friendly.

Timberland PRO Men's Direct Attach 6 Inch Steel Safety Toe Insulated Waterproof Industrial Work Boot
  • Contoured shock-diffusion plate for structural support
  • Direct-inject construction for durability
  • Anti-Fatigue Technology polyurethane footbed for shock absorption and energy return

Skechers Burgin-Tarlac Industrial Boot

Skechers is known to have a wide variety of boots and shoes for diabetics that are also very affordable and the Burgin-Tarlac boots are no different.

They feature an air-cooled memory foam insole that protects against sore feet while also giving your feet the breathability to keep them at a comfortable temperature.

The upper is puncture resistant on this protective footwear to help avoid any additional injuries to your feet. Finally, the steel toe cap also has electrical hazard protection against live circuits too.

Rockrooster Quick Dry Work Boots For Men

These slip-on boots from Rockrooster are perfect if you have difficulty tying your shoes or if your feet swell throughout the day.

CoolMAX technology is featured in these boots which will provide a moisture-wicking fabric to keep your feet dry with quick dry technology and temperature control for your feet.

The full-grain leather upper is also water-resistant to keep your boots dry and features static control to prevent electric shock from static electricity.

The anti-fatigue insole also makes them comfortable to work in all day long too.

ROCKROOSTER Work Boots for Men, Steel Toe, 8 inch Safety Leather Shoes, Slip Resistant Industrial Boot, Static Dissipative, Breathable, Quick Dry, Anti-Fatigue, AK232
  • 【Steel Toecap, Lace Up】Fashion & Casual Design, Suit for Mechanic, Concrete, Welder, Construction, Heavy Industry, Manufacturing & Warehouse, Transportation.
  • 【PORON Xrd & CoolMAX】Fabric made with COOLMAX technology transports moisture away from the body to keep the wearer cool and dry on hot days, fiber structures provide insulation on colder days. Fabric made with PORON Xrd Repeated Impact Protection, Comfort, Breathable, Thin and Lightweight, Endurance.
  • 【Static Dissipative, Non-slip Rubber Outsole】Release Static Electric into the Ground While Driving or Wearing Sweaters. Slip-Resistant, Slip and Oil Resistant Rockrooster Rubber Outsole.
  • 【Oiled Waxy Full Grain Leather & Comfortable Support】Water Resistant, Slip-Resistant, Slip and Oil Resistant Rockrooster Rubber Outsole, Provide Maximum Comfort and Support.
  • 【Anti-fatigue Memory Foam Insole, 8" High】Anti-fatigue Comfort Technology Footbeds by Coolmax Technology. All the ROCKROOSTER Work Boots Conform to American Standard ASTM F2413-11 I/75 C/75.

Dr. Comfort Ranger Men’s Work/Hiking Boots

Dr. Comfort is a brand whose mission is to create comfortable diabetic footwear and this also includes diabetic boots.

Their Ranger line looks more like a hiking boot than a work boot but it does have a steel toe to help protect against foot injuries.

It features a padded heel cup and tongue for the ultimate comfort and a wide toe box for extra room for your feet.

You will not have to tie your boots as the laces are adjusted with a toggle and there is a hook and loop closure for the adjustable strap that can be adjusted for comfort throughout your day.

An additional feature is a removable insole which is ideal so you can insert your custom orthotics and they are available in multiple widths if you have wide feet.

Learn More:

LARNMERN Steel Toe Safety Boots

The very affordable LARNMERN Steel Toe Boots look like a cross between a hiking boot and an athletic shoe but they do provide a steel toe and anti-puncture outsole to prevent a sharp object from puncturing it for safety on the job.

They are also slip-resistant to help you avoid falling and feature a static-dissipative outsole to avoid any shocks. The upper is a combination of mesh and leather for superior breathability and protection and is also dust resistant.

The reflective strip on the heel also makes these boots perfect for your heavy-duty job, hiking, or both.

Best Work Boots for Diabetics In 2021 – Top 10 Work Boots for Diabetics Review

What is the best way to care for diabetic work boots?

The best way to care for work boots for diabetics is to make sure they are clean and dry. You need to also avoid getting them wet if possible as this can cause the leather to break down.

If you do get them wet, make sure to let them air dry completely before wearing them again and to ventilate them after every time you wear them to avoid damp conditions where fungus thrives.

You need to also polish and condition your boots regularly if they have leather and apply a waterproof spray to help prevent water damage.

Always wear socks with your boots to help avoid moisture and you can use a foot powder, talcum powder, or cornstarch to wick away moisture if you know your feet will be sweating.

What are the best ways to avoid foot problems as a diabetic?

There are several things you can do to avoid foot problems as a diabetic. First, you need to always wear shoes and socks to help protect your feet and steel-toe boots if you work a job where you can drop heavy objects on them.

You also need to check your feet every day for any cuts, blisters, bruises, or redness as they can become infected and lead to diabetic foot ulcers.

To keep your feet safe never walk barefoot, even at home, as it is more conducive to foot injuries. You need to also monitor your blood sugar levels and maintain good blood sugar control as this can help prevent nerve damage and keep your feet healthy.

Finally, you need to see a podiatrist regularly to have a diabetic foot exam and to get any necessary treatments.


If you have diabetes, it is important to take care of your feet by wearing steel-toed diabetic work boots if necessary as they will help protect your feet from injuries and keep them comfortable throughout the day.

When picking your boots there are several things to consider such as the fit, width, style, and function along with what type of closure system they have, how much room there is in the toe box, and several other features that we detail above for the ultimate comfort.

You also need to make sure you take care of your boots by keeping them clean and dry and allowing them to ventilate after every time you wear them. Wearing steel-toed boots is not the only way to protect your feet as we also go into detail about several preventative measures for diabetic foot problems above too.

If you have any more questions about which diabetic shoes or boots are right for you or diabetic foot problems, please talk to your doctor, podiatrist (foot doctor), or health care provider.

References and sources:

Mayo Clinic 

Fact Checked and Editorial Process is devoted to producing expert and accurate articles and information for our readers by hiring experts, journalists, medical professionals, and our growing community. We encourage you to read more about our content, editing, and fact checking methods here. This was fact checked by Jacqueline Hensler and medically reviewed by Dr. Angel Rivera.

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